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wildcat

De Lorenzo: It's all over but the hand-wringing for Pontiac

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GM is finding out the hard way that no matter how many excellent new products they’re able to bring to market, unless they can back those products with enough marketing and advertising horsepower it ultimately doesn’t matter.
So last year the media shouting was "Good product is king" but now it's all about "Good product and marketing"

:rolleyes:

Lets just face it... Detroit is as good as dead. The media is nothing more than a cat playing with a half dead mouse and Wall Street is nothing more than a parasite feasting on a carcass.

It’s clear that the network of True Believers within GM responsible for its hotter products right now

GMNA

has succeeded in spite of the corporation
GME

And here, trying to survive and thrive in this culturally bereft environment, is Pontiac, struggling and scavenging for marketing dollars - and for relevant products - and it’s not going well. Not going well at all, as a matter of fact.

Yeah... because the Solstice, Solstice Targa, G8, G8 ST, Vibe and GXP programs aren't relevant product AT ALL. Not to mention the G6 that consitently sells 1) MORE than the newer and 'better' Aura and 2) Sells to people who are my age (READ: The future of GM) instead of jaded boomers who don't give a $h! about GM to begin with.

And the constant barrage of Pontiac media during prety much ALL sporting events isn't relevant marketing.

:rolleyes:

Flashy cars + Horsepower + Marketing Attitude x Swagger = Sizzling Sales.
Yeah, because the newest Pontiacs don't embody that spirit at all :rolleyes:

The “maverick” Pontiac couldn’t exist in today’s General Motors, because there’s no champion for the division or anyone left there who even remotely understands what Pontiac is all about.

Yeah, because Bob Lutz, you know, the man in charge, does neither. :rolleyes:

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The one thing that Lutz has misjudged since he began his tenure at GM is that he never did "get" Pontiac. His idea that Pontiac should be the "affordable BMW" is flat-out wrong.
I disagree 100%...

Lutz, just as most enthusiasts, perfectly understands Pontiac. What he also understands, just like most enthusiats, is that Pontiac cannot exist solely on what it WAS in the past. Those buyers ar disappearing and the new buyers that aspire to be that way likely won't because they fear the yuppies stereotyping as 'redneck' or 'ignorant' or 'unsophisticated'

Pontiac performance must evolve to include both the divisions heritage as well as what DEFINES performance in todays market.

Pontiacs should be raucous, distinctly American cars with real attitude, appealing to people who enjoy marching to a different drummer and who like to go their own way.

I agree 100% but that doesn't mean it has to be limited to a specific audience. (i.e. boomers wishing to recapture their youth) If that were the case, then Pontiac would be doomed from the start and would just be prolonging the inevitable.

If I had a clean sheet of paper for Pontiac I would create a smaller, rear-wheel-drive GTO as a coupe with a hot but small (2.5-liters) all-aluminum V8 that would sticker for $19,999 and weigh no more that 2800 pounds (with minimal options). But I wouldn't do it without a commitment from GM marketing that Pontiac would go back to its roots and that it would be properly supported - both financially and with new product.
That sounds excellent... However, marketing doesn't need to worry that much (as far as major pushing) about Pontiac for 2 reasons. 1) The G8 is NOT a mass produced automobile and is currently selling to expectations on the support its getting and 2) Pontiac is not a volume division anymore. Sure, I'd LOVE to establish Pontiac with a massive, kick ass promotion in all outlets of media but it's not going to happen because 1) the public won't buy it yet because Pontiac hasn't put out enough credible product yet to erase all the 'bad memories. And 2) Technically, as long as Pontiac sells it's quota right now, it doesn't need a lot of marketing because it isn't a growth division at this time. Now, once it is re-established and has an aura worth promoting (via product) that's when the big push is needed.

And I would broom all the vehicles that didn't meet Pontiac’s "marching to the different drummer" persona too. That means no Vibe, no crossovers, no SUVs, no trucks and no bull$h!

Wrong sir...

The Vibe is a perfectly acceptable entry and would be AWESOME if GM would put a performance edge on it. Remember: Performance isn't defined as ONLY RWD V8 muscle in todays world. Performance can come in a variety of packages and Pontiac should exploit ALL of them in this changing market if it is to survive long term.

I would do the GTO, a Trans-Am, a Grand Prix and a Bonneville, four vehicles that would bristle with innovation, performance and swagger.
And the GTO and TA would cannibalize each other while the GP would be lambasted because of some automotive media bull$h! from 1973 and neither the Bonneville or GP would sell to self righteous, self conscious boomers.

And then I'd market the $h! out of the new Pontiac lineup – with emphasis on the performance-per-dollar equation - and do it with an unflinching rebel attitude to boot.

And how does that solve anything? Will GM make money off of this more specific, more expensive, more exclusive line up any more so than they do now? Where will the marketing money come from if GM is having to push the Malibu and Aura that much harder to make up for lost G6 sales?

He was right, of course, even though his idea of resuscitation lacked the strategic fundamentals that the brand so desperately needed.

According to Lutz, the brand is doing fine now, G8 is a runaway success, Vibe is kicking ass for April, G5 and G6 as well as the Pontiac division are up... GM would be remiss to not seize this opportunity (with the market shifting bak to cars) to utilize Pontiac, theri only "car only" division to make a multi-pronged attack on the imports. But I fear they are too ignorant to realize that.

***** This is the same re-hashed piece that Delorenzo put out about 2 years ago. It's pure bull$h! and to believe it is not to see the full picture. (That includes you GM). Looks like the media is gearing up for round 2 of the "Lets destroy Detroit, slowly, piece-by-piece" war. All over a market that EVERYONE, even my grandmother, knew was going to suck because of the economy and Detroits cost structure.

Give me a break.

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P.S.

Anyone still believe that the media has repented and is being honest with the Detroit marks? I told you all that the enthusiasm would be fleeting. I've seen this game before.

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FOG-

Have you been reading the monthly sales reports?

Are you aware of the avg. sales/dealer at Pontiac?

Is the Torrent, G6, G5 or even Solstice something that you can get from another GM division?

Have you seen the Q1 financial results?

GM is operating without any room for error. GM does not have the $ to support its divisional structure, period.

The reason that this drumbeat has gone on for years is because the pundits are right. GM is sinking under the weight of its own largess, and the ostriches continue to bury their heads in the sand.

You can accuse the press of jumping on GM, but I believe its completely justified--they are running the worlds' greatest corporation into the ground. A company with such a historic headstart that their loss of leadership in the industry is nothing short of tragic.

Sometimes, you've got to admit your were wrong before things can be made right. GM's management has been using scalpels when they've needed to use axes. RW is simply the wrong man for the job. The sooner somebody owns up to the mess, the sooner the clean-up begins.

Here's the larger question: What is sitting at your local Pontiac store that couldn't either be killed or given to another division without missing a beat? The answer is nothing! The G8 could be a Chevy or Buick, the G8 ST should be a Chevy or GMC, the G6, G5, Torrent & Solstice are represented elsewhere (& better, I might add.)

Your passion is obvious, but you've got to take off the blinders, man. This is life or death.

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Perhaps there is a secret agenda that we are not privy too. For example, Saturn gets new product, but then no marketing money. Therefore, GM dodges being sued for obviously strangling the brand, while it is quietly doing just that. From GM's point of view, it would be a lot better for Saturn dealers to quietly sink, rather than having to pay them off, like the Oldsmobile fiasco.

With the P-B-GMC merger in full swing, south of the border (you guys are, once again, playing catch-up to us Canucks :P ), what Pontiac does or does not get in the future will become less important.

Franchise laws being what they are, GM has to play a very tight game here. As market share sinks to 20%, the business model for 8 divisions simply isn't there. Perhaps that has been the plan all along. That is assuming there is a plan at all, right Enzl?

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Delorenzo isn't traditional media, however, he makes a fundamental mistake he acknowledges himself, and then ignores: You can't cut your way to success. Cutting a division, or brand, won't solve GM's marketing problems, it will only exacerbate them, resulting in even less money to go around. But this is about ideology, not facts or logic, so there is no arguing with him.

Despite the Solstice and the G8, I do believe he is right however in that GM still doesn't not have an understanding of or commitment to Pontiac. The brand is consistently undermined by discount pricing (hence the $3000 dealer market adjustments which then alienate customers—product should have simply been priced $3K higher to begin with with better dealer margins), inconsistent and underwhelming product (Vibe, G6 GXP, G5 etc.), and a lack of support for a channel that with the right product and marketing could unseat Ford as the best-selling cars in the retail market, and #3 overall behind Toyota and Chevrolet.

Unfortunately if Pontiac is to survive then the current dealers may need to get together and buy the brand from GM ASAP, appoint a product guru who gets the brand and market, and subcontract design, development and production to whoever will give them the product they need (a lineup of rwd subcompact, compact and midsize sedans, coupes roadsters—CAFE makes a traditional large car, 210–230", too expensive).

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Enzl—are you aware that the G6 still consistently outsells the Malibu, or that Pontiac's cars models have consistently beaten Ford's in retail sales (in a one-on-one match up, G6 v Fusion, Grand Prix v Taurus)? Unfortunately GM has not figured out that Pontiac does better when it offers less bang for the buck than Chevy. Prices need to be around $3K higher, with product to match, and in the midsize segment, with a smaller, sportier car to boot. The division needs a premium compact, not the Vibe or G5, a premium lower midsize model priced above the larger Chevy etc.. They don't need to be rwd, but it would help. There is plenty of room for Pontiac, and the brand better matches NA requirements than a conservative smaller Buick (which is what you'll probably get instead). Does GM have the money? Maybe not, but cutting the brand won't solve that problem and will only shrink GM's share further. Cutting brands to match market share only leads to less and less share until they can't support even one brand adequately in the US market.

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If new products in the pipeline can't restore GM's finances, and improve market perceptions, then one brand is what you may very well wind up with in the long term, and that a dismal third in the US market, with three cars, two crossovers and one compact pickup.

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I don't really agree with much that has been stated in the De Lorenzo article. If GM would realize that Pontiac could serve the corporation well as an affordable performance car division and give it brand appropriate products to reinforce this image, I think there is room for Pontiac to survive in a lower volume, NICHE capacity.

Here are some suggestions that would allow GM to properly position Pontiac in the corporation's brand hierarchy and make the division relevant to both the corporation and market:

1) Give it a RWD only product portfolio. Except for the G8 sedan and Solstice roadster/coupe, all of the brand's other products (Vibe, G5, G6, and Torrent) are either redundant (G5-Cobalt coupe and G6 sedan-Malibu/Aura) or would sell better if reimagined for the corporation's other divisions (G6 hardtop convertible should be discontinued in favor of a next generation Aura "TwinTop" coupe, Torrent should be discontinued in favor of a GMC Terrain crossover, and Vibe should be reassigned to Chevy or discontinued after current generation's model cycle is over).

2) Pontiac should be the only division to carry an affordable roadster (Solstice). When the model cycle of the current generation Sky/Solstice is over, the Sky should be discontinued and the next generation Solstice's design should be aligned with the other global versions of this car (Opel, Vauxhall, Holden, and Daewoo). A retractable hardtop luxury version should then be developed for Cadillac. Pontiac would cover the affordable roadster end of the market and Cadillac would cover the luxury roadster end of the market. Saturn could cover the loss of the Sky by providing "TwinTop" coupe/roadster versions of its cars (much like Opel does in Europe with the Tigra "TwinTop" roadster and Astra "TwinTop" coupe).

3) Give Pontiac a focused product portfolio of RWD coupes, convertibles, and sedans. No wagons, trucklets, crossovers, minivans, SUVs, etc. I have provided an example of a future Pontiac product lineup below.

4) Limit Alpha and SigZeta platforms to Cadillac and Pontiac in the U.S. The only exception would be the Chevrolet Camaro. This would reduce some of the redundancy in the lineups and provide further focus and definition for the brands. The development costs could be spread by providing these vehicles as rebadged products in other global markets (Opel, Vauxhall, Holden, Daewoo, Mideast Chevy, Chinese Buick, etc.)

Future Pontiac Product Lineup:

* Solstice roadster and 2-seater coupe: Next generation would be on a modified Alpha(?) platform and share its styling with global versions for Opel/Holden/Daewoo and share its platform (but not its styling) with a luxury retractable hardtop version for Cadillac.

* G4 compact coupe, convertible, and sedan: Based on Alpha platform shared with future Holden Torana and Cadillac BLS. The G4 could share styling with the Torana (except for Pontiac specific styling cues). The Cadillac BLS would have its own unique styling. I say this car would be around 180 inches long maybe?

* G6 midsize coupe, convertible, and sedan: Based on SWB SigZeta platform shared with future Holden Commodore and Cadillac CTS. The G6 will only share its platform with the Holden Commodore (unless Holden decides to downsize the next generation Commodore) and Cadillac BLS; the G6 will have shorter exterior dimensions (190-191 inches maybe?) and its own unique styling (or shared dimensions and styling with next generation Commodore if downsized).

* G8 fullsize coupe, convertible, and sedan: Based on LWB SigZeta platform shared with future Holden Caprice/Statesman and Cadillac STS. The G8 will only share its platform with the Holden Caprice/Statesman (unless Holden decides to downsize the next generation Caprice/Statesman) and Cadillac STS; the G8 will have shorter exterior dimensions and its own unique styling (or shared dimensions and styling with next generation Caprice/Statesman if downsized). The next generation G8 would be a marginally larger car (198 inches maybe?) than today's car, but be built on a longer wheelbase.

* THAT'S IT! 4 BRAND APPROPRIATE PRODUCT LINES: Solstice, G4, G6, and G8!

Come on GM! You can make this happen!

Edited by cire
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Enzl—are you aware that the G6 still consistently outsells the Malibu, or that Pontiac's cars models have consistently beaten Ford's in retail sales (in a one-on-one match up, G6 v Fusion, Grand Prix v Taurus)? Unfortunately GM has not figured out that Pontiac does better when it offers less bang for the buck than Chevy. Prices need to be around $3K higher, with product to match, and in the midsize segment, with a smaller, sportier car to boot. The division needs a premium compact, not the Vibe or G5, a premium lower midsize model priced above the larger Chevy etc.. They don't need to be rwd, but it would help. There is plenty of room for Pontiac, and the brand better matches NA requirements than a conservative smaller Buick (which is what you'll probably get instead). Does GM have the money? Maybe not, but cutting the brand won't solve that problem and will only shrink GM's share further. Cutting brands to match market share only leads to less and less share until they can't support even one brand adequately in the US market.

What is the current fleet/rental percentage for G6 and Grand Prix?

I think you'll find it's astonomical.......G6 "outselling" Malibu thanks to a hefty influx of fleet/rental units certainly does not indicate true consumer appeal.

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I don't really agree with much that has been stated in the De Lorenzo article. If GM would realize that Pontiac could serve the corporation well as an affordable performance car division and give it brand appropriate products to reinforce this image, I think there is room for Pontiac to survive in a lower volume, NICHE capacity.

Here are some suggestions that would allow GM to properly position Pontiac in the corporation's brand hierarchy and make the division relevant to both the corporation and market:

1) Give it a RWD only product portfolio. Except for the G8 sedan and Solstice roadster/coupe, all of the brand's other products (Vibe, G5, G6, and Torrent) are either redundant (G5-Cobalt coupe and G6 sedan-Malibu/Aura) or would sell better if reimagined for the corporation's other divisions (G6 hardtop convertible should be discontinued in favor of a next generation Aura "TwinTop" coupe, Torrent should be discontinued in favor of a GMC Terrain crossover, and Vibe should be reassigned to Chevy or discontinued after current generation's model cycle is over).

2) Pontiac should be the only division to carry an affordable roadster (Solstice). When the model cycle of the current generation Sky/Solstice is over, the Sky should be discontinued and the next generation Solstice's design should be aligned with the other global versions of this car (Opel, Vauxhall, Holden, and Daewoo). A retractable hardtop luxury version should then be developed for Cadillac. Pontiac would cover the affordable roadster end of the market and Cadillac would cover the luxury roadster end of the market. Saturn could cover the loss of the Sky by providing "TwinTop" coupe/roadster versions of its cars (much like Opel does in Europe with the Tigra "TwinTop" roadster and Astra "TwinTop" coupe).

3) Give Pontiac a focused product portfolio of RWD coupes, convertibles, and sedans. No wagons, trucklets, crossovers, minivans, SUVs, etc. I have provided an example of a future Pontiac product lineup below.

4) Limit Alpha and SigZeta platforms to Cadillac and Pontiac in the U.S. The only exception would be the Chevrolet Camaro. This would reduce some of the redundancy in the lineups and provide further focus and definition for the brands. The development costs could be spread by providing these vehicles as rebadged products in other global markets (Opel, Vauxhall, Holden, Daewoo, Mideast Chevy, Chinese Buick, etc.)

Future Pontiac Product Lineup:

* Solstice roadster and 2-seater coupe: Next generation would be on a modified Alpha(?) platform and share its styling with global versions for Opel/Holden/Daewoo and share its platform (but not its styling) with a luxury retractable hardtop version for Cadillac.

* G4 compact coupe, convertible, and sedan: Based on Alpha platform shared with future Holden Torana and Cadillac BLS. The G4 could share styling with the Torana (except for Pontiac specific styling cues). The Cadillac BLS would have its own unique styling. I say this car would be around 180 inches long maybe?

* G6 midsize coupe, convertible, and sedan: Based on SWB SigZeta platform shared with future Holden Commodore and Cadillac CTS. The G6 will only share its platform with the Holden Commodore (unless Holden decides to downsize the next generation Commodore) and Cadillac BLS; the G6 will have shorter exterior dimensions (190-191 inches maybe?) and its own unique styling (or shared dimensions and styling with next generation Commodore if downsized).

* G8 fullsize coupe, convertible, and sedan: Based on LWB SigZeta platform shared with future Holden Caprice/Statesman and Cadillac STS. The G8 will only share its platform with the Holden Caprice/Statesman (unless Holden decides to downsize the next generation Caprice/Statesman) and Cadillac STS; the G8 will have shorter exterior dimensions and its own unique styling (or shared dimensions and styling with next generation Caprice/Statesman if downsized). The next generation G8 would be a marginally larger car (198 inches maybe?) than today's car, but be built on a longer wheelbase.

* THAT'S IT! 4 BRAND APPROPRIATE PRODUCT LINES: Solstice, G4, G6, and G8!

Come on GM! You can make this happen!

I value the time and effort you put into your above post.

But unfortunately NONE of that matters one iota if GM doesn't have, or won't spend, the significant dollars required to support an appropriate marketing and advertising effort. Remember, even with a utopian product lineup, GM still has to repair the HUGE rift in consumer perception of the Pontiac brand....which is not all that positive at this juncture.

That's the whole gist behind DeLorenzo's rant.....

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FOG-

Have you been reading the monthly sales reports?

Are you aware of the avg. sales/dealer at Pontiac?

Is the Torrent, G6, G5 or even Solstice something that you can get from another GM division?

Have you seen the Q1 financial results?

So it's a bad year...

Can you get virtually everything every other GM division offers at other GM divisions? Hell, if anything, Pontiac has the most unique line up at the corporation now with the introduction of the G8, G8 ST and Solstice Targa.

GM is operating without any room for error. GM does not have the $ to support its divisional structure, period.
Weather the storm... DO NOT give up ground for the sake of "what might be" That's all I'm saying.

You can accuse the press of jumping on GM, but I believe its completely justified--they are running the worlds' greatest corporation into the ground. A company with such a historic headstart that their loss of leadership in the industry is nothing short of tragic.

The media and the consumer ran "the worlds greatest corporation" into the ground. Anti-american sentiment and the need to feel sophisticated through 'being elitest' and 'being different' ran GM into the ground. I do not deny that GM management was nothing short of a disaster for a very long time but this culture is largely to blame for GM's demise. It's the same culture that outsourced the middle class, the same culture that buys stuff at Wal-Mart, the same culture that criticizes your kid at school for not being able to afford a $100 pair of jeans and the same culture that says you're not good enough unless you get into the top school and land the top job. Just my :twocents:

Sometimes, you've got to admit your were wrong before things can be made right. GM's management has been using scalpels when they've needed to use axes. RW is simply the wrong man for the job. The sooner somebody owns up to the mess, the sooner the clean-up begins.
the more you cut, the less of the entity is left to begin with. The more blows the entity receives, the less strength it has to fight back. Go ahead GM, cut all of your divisions except the "dynamic three". Then we can all laugh as no matter how hard you try to become relevant again, you remain a small scale automaker that struggles to get off the mat and compete until you eventually die.

In this market, there is no clean up unless it's the clean up like Mitsubishi and Isuzu have been experiencing. It's too competitive to try birth an entirely new corporation and expect to gain share. GM still has a lot of legacy cost and in order to fund that, they'll need to gain share regardless of the cost savings if they dynamite divisions. That's not going to happen.

Your passion is obvious, but you've got to take off the blinders, man. This is life or death.

I don't look at it that way. To me it's either death or suicide. And I hate to be that dramatic and negative, but it's true. GM is facing falling sales and regulations as well as economical factors that they cannot control. Eventually, the corporation will probably die anyway. Why not go out firing on all cylinders and hoping for the best instead of quietly resigning and allowing the market to swallow you whole?

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Enzl—are you aware that the G6 still consistently outsells the Malibu, or that Pontiac's cars models have consistently beaten Ford's in retail sales (in a one-on-one match up, G6 v Fusion, Grand Prix v Taurus)? Unfortunately GM has not figured out that Pontiac does better when it offers less bang for the buck than Chevy. Prices need to be around $3K higher, with product to match, and in the midsize segment, with a smaller, sportier car to boot. The division needs a premium compact, not the Vibe or G5, a premium lower midsize model priced above the larger Chevy etc.. They don't need to be rwd, but it would help. There is plenty of room for Pontiac, and the brand better matches NA requirements than a conservative smaller Buick (which is what you'll probably get instead). Does GM have the money? Maybe not, but cutting the brand won't solve that problem and will only shrink GM's share further. Cutting brands to match market share only leads to less and less share until they can't support even one brand adequately in the US market.

Thank god! Another voice of reason!

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I value the time and effort you put into your above post.

But unfortunately NONE of that matters one iota if GM doesn't have, or won't spend, the significant dollars required to support an appropriate marketing and advertising effort. Remember, even with a utopian product lineup, GM still has to repair the HUGE rift in consumer perception of the Pontiac brand....which is not all that positive at this juncture.

That's the whole gist behind DeLorenzo's rant.....

Yes, but.

There are ways around this in packaging the GMC/B/P channel together. They can be promoted as one brand.

Buick is/was in no better shape, especially before the Enclave debuted.

And Saturn sure as hell doesn't have the perception needed to sell what it is currently offering.

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Enzl—are you aware that the G6 still consistently outsells the Malibu, or that Pontiac's cars models have consistently beaten Ford's in retail sales (in a one-on-one match up, G6 v Fusion, Grand Prix v Taurus)? Unfortunately GM has not figured out that Pontiac does better when it offers less bang for the buck than Chevy. Prices need to be around $3K higher, with product to match, and in the midsize segment, with a smaller, sportier car to boot. The division needs a premium compact, not the Vibe or G5, a premium lower midsize model priced above the larger Chevy etc.. They don't need to be rwd, but it would help. There is plenty of room for Pontiac, and the brand better matches NA requirements than a conservative smaller Buick (which is what you'll probably get instead). Does GM have the money? Maybe not, but cutting the brand won't solve that problem and will only shrink GM's share further. Cutting brands to match market share only leads to less and less share until they can't support even one brand adequately in the US market.

G6 is a rental queen--and the only FWD sedan available now at Pontiac dealers...the Bonnie and GP are long gone--so, yes I'm aware of the 'select' figures you're quoting and, no, it doesn't matter as the G6 pales in comparison to Aura or 'bu.

The rest of your proposal assumes GM can afford to retool Pontiac, which they can't. Look at their product cadence...they're on 5 yr. + cycles with the nameplates they're trying to support...and most of them suck, so what's the point?

If you'd like to see Pontiac or Saab or Hummer drag GM into Ch.11, be my guest.

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Pontiac's biggest problem is that GM operates as if it honestly doesn't know what to do with it. It seems some in GM want the brand to thrive once again while others see it as a dying branch that needs to be pruned from the tree. You can see that in the dichotomy in the current lineup, as illustrated by thegriffon.

G8, Solstice = yay

G5, G6, Vibe, Torrent = nay

Heck, you could even see it in the naming...um.."scheme"

It really is in GM's best interests to revive Pontiac - as I've said a number of times, Oldsmobile's demise proves to us that a dead brand's former customers won't just flock to other GM brands; they'll more likely leave the company for good. Sadly, the current perception of the company is that people are all but looking for a reason to justify jumping to the Japanese, and axing another brand would accomplish that and then some.

Now before the whole GME vs GMNA vs GMH argument rears its ugly head in this thread, as it does in just about every other thread about Pontiac, I'm going to say this. GM's greatest strength has been its ability to cater to ALL of the needs of each of its local markets, and right now the company's survival depends on it. Shunning that in favor of a one-size-fits-all brand structure across the globe is a recipe for failure. Each of the internal factions need to get their heads out of their collective asses and proceed as follows:

1. Figure out what vehicles best encompass the needs of the market in question, and how to sprinkle them throughout the market's EXISTING brand structure

2. Figure out how to build those vehicles efficiently and profitably using resources available globally

If GME, GMNA, and GMH can't put aside their personal agendas and do what's best for GM global, they're doomed, and that's that.

Rant over.

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So it's a bad year...

Can you get virtually everything every other GM division offers at other GM divisions? Hell, if anything, Pontiac has the most unique line up at the corporation now with the introduction of the G8, G8 ST and Solstice Targa.

Weather the storm... DO NOT give up ground for the sake of "what might be" That's all I'm saying.

The media and the consumer ran "the worlds greatest corporation" into the ground. Anti-american sentiment and the need to feel sophisticated through 'being elitest' and 'being different' ran GM into the ground. I do not deny that GM management was nothing short of a disaster for a very long time but this culture is largely to blame for GM's demise. It's the same culture that outsourced the middle class, the same culture that buys stuff at Wal-Mart, the same culture that criticizes your kid at school for not being able to afford a $100 pair of jeans and the same culture that says you're not good enough unless you get into the top school and land the top job. Just my :twocents:

the more you cut, the less of the entity is left to begin with. The more blows the entity receives, the less strength it has to fight back. Go ahead GM, cut all of your divisions except the "dynamic three". Then we can all laugh as no matter how hard you try to become relevant again, you remain a small scale automaker that struggles to get off the mat and compete until you eventually die.

In this market, there is no clean up unless it's the clean up like Mitsubishi and Isuzu have been experiencing. It's too competitive to try birth an entirely new corporation and expect to gain share. GM still has a lot of legacy cost and in order to fund that, they'll need to gain share regardless of the cost savings if they dynamite divisions. That's not going to happen.

I don't look at it that way. To me it's either death or suicide. And I hate to be that dramatic and negative, but it's true. GM is facing falling sales and regulations as well as economical factors that they cannot control. Eventually, the corporation will probably die anyway. Why not go out firing on all cylinders and hoping for the best instead of quietly resigning and allowing the market to swallow you whole?

Your entire supposition is dependent upon GM's current fiscal health being better than the press is stating (it's probably worse, as the $30Billion writedown last Q was an admission of exactly that.)

So, there's no money to retrench or retool or reequip the troops, so to speak. What you're proposing is parallel to sending US troops into battle with broomsticks because the Gov't can't afford to buy enough supplies--why would a good 'General' do that?

Second, and almost as important. There's noone to blame but GM for the mess. Blaming others is a uniquely American fetish--The press and Wall Street would gladly pick on whomever was in this predicament. Unfortunately, GM half-assed its way through decades of product---and, now that the product is demonstrably better, the competition has sunk their claws into ex-GM customers and isn't letting go.

Explain to me why I (or anyone) should gamble on GM when I've got a sure thing in my driveway? Especially with the 2nd largest investment I'm going to make? Or put my child or wife in? It's just simply against human nature itself to ask people to do so.

You continually make excuses, I'd like things to be made better. That's the essential difference in our positions. I suspect much of it has to do simply with life experience, but I'm not sure you realize how real-world adults make decisions--to believe that something in the newspaper or TV makes people zombies that run down to the local Toyota dealer is laughable--more likely, humans are risk-averse--and it simply makes little sense to purchase most of what GM offers.

Edited by enzl
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And the Fusion and Taurus aren't being flogged like mad to Hertz and co? Of course they are. The comparison remains valid.

Pontiac is still a major division, despite losing model after model. At the moment it is being starved of investment while they try and build profitability. They can't afford to cut it, and they can't afford to let it wither, hence the rebadged Cobalt and Chevy to replace the G6. GM needs the revenue Pontiac gives to fund the other divisions. You can't keep cutting divisions until your marketing costs match your revenue, because your revenue will just keep falling, and falling, and falling, until you can't even support one division. It's no solution. GM needs to build product margin so that that they can market each division adequately, but they can't do that while they persist in a moronic attempt to market everything one segment below where it should be, thus avoiding consideration by people looking for a product in that segment (because GM makes it invisible) and the one they are targeting (because it's too big). The higher pricing of the new Malibu and the cutting of the "Value" G6 is a step in the right direction, but they have a long way to go (once again the G8 was priced too low, by $3-5K), and it's unclear whether the market will return in time no matter how good the product and the reviews. Too many people still refuse to consider GM.

Enzl, how is a stripped, rebadged Cadillac any less affordable to GM than a loaded, rebadged Chevy?

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Your entire supposition is dependent upon GM's current fiscal health being better than the press is stating (it's probably worse, as the $30Billion writedown last Q was an admission of exactly that.)

So, there's no money to retrench or retool or reequip the troops, so to speak. What you're proposing is parallel to sending US troops into battle with broomsticks because the Gov't can't afford to buy enough supplies--why would a good 'General' do that?

Second, and almost as important. There's noone to blame but GM for the mess. Blaming others is a uniquely American fetish--The press and Wall Street would gladly pick on whomever was in this predicament. Unfortunately, GM half-assed its way through decades of product---and, now that the product is demonstrably better, the competition has sunk their claws into ex-GM customers and isn't letting go.

Explain to me why I (or anyone) should gamble on GM when I've got a sure thing in my driveway? Especially with the 2nd largest investment I'm going to make? Or put my child or wife in? It's just simply against human nature itself to ask people to do so.

You continually make excuses, I'd like things to be made better. That's the essential difference in our positions. I suspect much of it has to do simply with life experience, but I'm not sure you realize how real-world adults make decisions--to believe that something in the newspaper or TV makes people zombies that run down to the local Toyota dealer is laughable--more likely, humans are risk-averse--and it simply makes little sense to purchase most of what GM offers.

Enzl - pick up a copy of "Predictabably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions." Fascinating read. Dan Ariely is a behavioral economist at MIT. This is his new book. He has spent years studying the behavior of consumers. In a nutshell: if people believe something, then they will not accept new data to the contrary. An odd twist on the "if the facts do not conform to the theory, then the facts must be altered" axiom.

One of the examples he cites is the recent New York Times expose on a Vancouver-based company, Lululemon's assertions that its seaweed fiber clothing had all kinds of therapeutic properties, which turned out to be bogus. After a short WallStreet panic, Lululemon's stock went up 30% over where it was before the expose.

Ariely talks about energy drinks, and his study shows that the more expensive they are, the more people expressed increased awareness, energy, etc., even though the products themselves were not better. This is how Toyota has managed to get away with selling a Camry for $9,000 more in a Lexus - people are convinced it is better, even though it is essentially the same car.

In an age where the differences, real differences between brands is negligible or non-existant, it is only the marketing and hype that can destinguish them. This is a fact that Toyota has been relentless since the beginning: sing one song and stick to it.

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Enzl - pick up a copy of "Predictabably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions." Fascinating read. Dan Ariely is a behavioral economist at MIT. This is his new book. He has spent years studying the behavior of consumers. In a nutshell: if people believe something, then they will not accept new data to the contrary. An odd twist on the "if the facts do not conform to the theory, then the facts must be altered" axiom.

One of the examples he cites is the recent New York Times expose on a Vancouver-based company, Lululemon's assertions that its seaweed fiber clothing had all kinds of therapeutic properties, which turned out to be bogus. After a short WallStreet panic, Lululemon's stock went up 30% over where it was before the expose.

Ariely talks about energy drinks, and his study shows that the more expensive they are, the more people expressed increased awareness, energy, etc., even though the products themselves were not better. This is how Toyota has managed to get away with selling a Camry for $9,000 more in a Lexus - people are convinced it is better, even though it is essentially the same car.

In an age where the differences, real differences between brands is negligible or non-existant, it is only the marketing and hype that can destinguish them. This is a fact that Toyota has been relentless since the beginning: sing one song and stick to it.

2 errors in your assessment:

1. It is perfectly rational to purchase a product that is as good or better than the competition---seaweed clothing & energy drinks don't equal a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry-established, middle of the road products---so your point is valid, but not applicable to this situation. There's no 'contrary' facts...The Malibu may be as good as the Camry, but there's no 'facts' that point to the Camry being a bad purchase decision.

2. Toyota (your example, not mine) is only doing what GM did for years with Chevy/Pontiac/Buick/Olds/Caddy...so, if it worked for GM in the past, so why shouldn't Toyota follow that example? Furthermore, your position supports the idea that Toyota is beating GM at marketing, as well as product relevance---so, are you defending GM or admitting that they've dropped the ball completely?

With all due respect, GM has dug a hole of its own making. Now, common sense would dictate that they stop digging. Obviously, they haven't and it may doom them to a date with a bankruptcy judge.

Any MIT eggheads writing a book that GM can use to get out of their hole? I'll be happy to order it on Amazon and send it to RW, ASAP.

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There are ways around this in packaging the GMC/B/P channel together. They can be promoted as one brand.

That's ridiculous FOG.....they are three separate brands that simply share a distribution channel.

Three brands are still going to need three different types of marketing and advertising support in order to build upon or repair brand image and perception. How in the hell do you think GM can promote BPG as "one brand" when their products and target markets are so diverse???

:huh:

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And the Fusion and Taurus aren't being flogged like mad to Hertz and co? Of course they are. The comparison remains valid.

Pontiac is still a major division, despite losing model after model. At the moment it is being starved of investment while they try and build profitability. They can't afford to cut it, and they can't afford to let it wither, hence the rebadged Cobalt and Chevy to replace the G6. GM needs the revenue Pontiac gives to fund the other divisions. You can't keep cutting divisions until your marketing costs match your revenue, because your revenue will just keep falling, and falling, and falling, until you can't even support one division. It's no solution. GM needs to build product margin so that that they can market each division adequately, but they can't do that while they persist in a moronic attempt to market everything one segment below where it should be, thus avoiding consideration by people looking for a product in that segment (because GM makes it invisible) and the one they are targeting (because it's too big). The higher pricing of the new Malibu and the cutting of the "Value" G6 is a step in the right direction, but they have a long way to go (once again the G8 was priced too low, by $3-5K), and it's unclear whether the market will return in time no matter how good the product and the reviews. Too many people still refuse to consider GM.

Enzl, how is a stripped, rebadged Cadillac any less affordable to GM than a loaded, rebadged Chevy?

Griff....there IS NO valid comparison, as you say, unless you can provide actual rental/fleet percentages for those cars. I don't have them or I would. Last time I checked, a year or so ago, Grand Prix, for example, was running over 75% rental/fleet....even the 500 at that time wasn't anywhere near that.

Nothing in the Pontiac lineup even dictates a hint towards "performance" or "excitement" except G8 and maybe Solstice Targa (because there's no comparable Saturn.) Everything else either can be had at a similar division, or offers just as much performance as the respective Pontiac (re...Malibu LTZ V6 and G6 GXP.....and Solstice versus SKY.)

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Griff....there IS NO valid comparison, as you say, unless you can provide actual rental/fleet percentages for those cars. I don't have them or I would. Last time I checked, a year or so ago, Grand Prix, for example, was running over 75% rental/fleet....even the 500 at that time wasn't anywhere near that.

Nothing in the Pontiac lineup even dictates a hint towards "performance" or "excitement" except G8 and maybe Solstice Targa (because there's no comparable Saturn.) Everything else either can be had at a similar division, or offers just as much performance as the respective Pontiac (re...Malibu LTZ V6 and G6 GXP.....and Solstice versus SKY.)

You're missing the point of what Griff is saying. Frankly, I agree with him: GM can cut divisions all it wants, but until it starts pricing itself as more than a bargain-basement manufacturer, it will lack the profit margins across the board to support all of its divisions. In other words, killing Pontiac does not fix what's wrong with GM, and soon another division will be on the chopping block too. For crying out loud, it's been just 4 years since Oldsmobile went away! Clearly that went well...

And what about those damn Canadians? They certainly seem to have an arrowhead fetish.

Edited by Croc
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